Invicta FC 30 Results: Jinh Yu Frey Wins Atomweight Belt | Prospects Shine

On the eve of another UFC weekend, Invicta FC 30 offered up a different event for those who were looking for some Friday night action. A belt was on the line in Kansas City, Invicta’s traditional hometown, as Finnish fighter Minna Grusander made the trip to face the popular Jinh Yu Frey. In the co-main event, highly rated Canadian prospect Felicia Spencer took to the ring against Helena Kolesnyk, who returned after her loss to Pam Sorenson in 2017. Prospects shone, undefeated records were lost, and the atomweight division ended up with a new champion. Check out the full events of the night below, starting with the main event.

Full Results

Jinh Yu Frey def. Minna Grusander via unanimous decision(49-46, 48-47, 48-47): In the main event, fan favorite Jinh Yu Frey met rising star Mina Grusander with the vacant atomweight belt on the line. Grusander chased the clinch from the start of the fight, and eventually had a decent chance to take Frey’s back inside of the last thirty seconds, but she was too high up and lost the position, finishing the round on her side. The second round similarly began with clinching, but this time, the fighters separated and had a bit of a standup exchange where Grusander connected cleanly with a couple of right hands before clinching again. Frey was able to land a kick and combination at the very end of the round, but there wasn’t much striking action through the first ten minutes of the fight.

Frey opened up round three with a takedown but gave Grusander a chance for a guillotine choke in the process. Grusander would look for an armbar instead but didn’t find it, as Frey broke out of it and worked on passing her guard. Frey looked like the winner of the round after the ending, where she used ground and pound to deliver heavy strikes to Grusander from top position in the closing minute. Grusander made another push at winning points with the judges in the final round, trying to walk down Frey and absorb leg kicks as she kept the pressure up.

In the end, though, Grusander didn’t do enough and Frey left as the new atomweight champion, the culmination of a long journey for her.

Felicia Spencer def. Helena Kolesnyk via second round submission(RNC): Helena Kolesnyk picked up her first loss in her last fight, but it was at the hands of a good opponent and she ended up in the co-main event of the night at Invicta FC 30, taking on another top prospect, Felicia Spencer. Spencer isn’t as well known as some of the others on the list, but she’s one of the top fifteen featherweights in the world according to Tapology.

Kolesnyk, the slightly larger fighter, walked down Spencer early on and looked like the one that would do the first major damage, but she was taken down and Spencer was able to get onto her back and look for a choke. That choke wouldn’t work out at first, but Spencer distracted Kolesnyk with strikes before going back to the submission attempt and trying to sink in the choke with forty seconds left in the round.

She couldn’t do it, and settled to end the round striking from her opponent’s back. Spencer returned to Kolesnyk’s back in the second round, two times. On the second time, she went back to the rear naked choke that she had attempted earlier, and this time, it would be deep enough to finish the fight and pick up her fourth win in as many fights.

Heather Jo Clark def. Kimberly Novaes via unanimous decision(30-27, 29-28, 29-28): Two of the more experienced fighters of the card battled each other in the card’s sole strawweight bout, matching up UFC veteran Heather Jo Clark with 9-4 Brazilian Kimberly Novaes. The most important action of the first round happened in the clinch when Clark was able to keep Novaes with her back to the cage, delivering knees and wearing away at her opponent before eventually ending up in Novaes’ guard at the end of the round. Much of the second round was even. When Novaes would strike, Clark would find some way to respond. However, Clark scored a takedown in the last couple of minutes and had another chance to work on passing the guard of Novaes.

Clark eventually went for her opponent’s back, but the angle was a bad one and Clark couldn’t look for a submission or do real damage with ground and pound. Novaes put Clark’s back to the cage in the first minute of the final round, and approaching the last minute, she found herself in a sprawl position and tried to work her way to take Clark’s back, having trouble initially before finally securing the position with roughly twenty seconds left in the fight. She couldn’t make something happen before the round ended, and would regret not getting a finish. Clark took the victory by unanimous decision, in her debut with the promotion.

Brogan Walker-Sanchez def. Miranda Maverick via unanimous decision(30-27, 30-27, 29-28): It’s not often that you see a fighter based in Guam, but that’s where Muay Thai practitioner Brogan Walker-Sanchez is fighting out of. She met Miranda Maverick in a flyweight fight, and both of the exciting fighters came in undefeated at 5-0 and 3-0 respectively. Many predicted a lot of aggression and striking in this fight but the first round was mostly spent in the clinch and then on the ground as Maverick tried and failed to pass Sanchez’s guard.

The second round was spent on the ground too, but it was Sanchez that was doing the attacking. She had Maverick’s back for much of the round, but Maverick took top position going into the last minute and attempted elbows despite not doing significant damage. Sanchez advanced in the third round and looked to make something happen standing up, but Maverick put her in the clinch at the three minute mark before losing the position. The fight would go to ground again and Sanchez had side control, but the third round finished on the feet and the winner wasn’t immediately clear. After landing better, though, Sanchez received the unanimous decision victory.

Stephanie Geltmacher def. Kerri Kenneson via first round TKO: The sole bantamweight fight of the night pitted two more undefeated fighters against each other, including Kerri Kennison, the number one female fighter in the New England regional rankings. Her opponent was Stephanie Geltmacher, who hails from Hawaii and rose to a top ten status in the Southwestern regional scene while fighting out of Oklahoma.

Geltmacher had the quickest start and ended up in a mount position before the first minute of the round was up, not surrendering that control in the coming minutes as she landed large blows from the position. Kenneson would never be able to stand up for the rest of the fight, shifting positions but not shaking Geltmacher off of her. Eventually, her opponent found her rhythm and delivered enough strikes to the head that the referee ended the fight in the first round because of the sheer volume of them.

Alesha Zappitella def. Jillian DeCoursey via unanimous decision(30-27, 30-27, 30-27): New York City’s Jillian DeCoursey, the 3rd best pound for pound fighter in Tapology’s northeast women’s rankings, fought for the second time this year when she took on 3-0 wrestler Alesha Zappitella. Zappitella came out flying and forced DeCoursey to retreat from her punches and move towards the cage. The rest of the round was a bit slower, as the fighters battled for control in the clinch, but Zappitella showed her power again when she dropped DeCoursey to the mat on the break. She landed accurately every time they stood, and ended the round doing damage.

DeCoursey began hitting back in the second round, but it didn’t stop Zappitella from coming forward and eventually looking for ground and pound chances when DeCoursey pulled guard. Zappitella would have a hard time passing that guard and DeCoursey recovered some lost momentum, landing well and keeping Zappitella at a distance in the late stage. DeCoursey tried to control the range in the early part of the third round by using her strikes to keep Zappitella from coming closer, but Zappitella made one more push in the late part of the round regardless and forced DeCoursey to clinch near the end of the fight as she wrapped up her unanimous decision victory.

Alyse Anderson def. Stephanie Alba via second round submission(triangle choke): In the first of three atomweight bouts at Invicta FC 30, two fighters coming off of losses made their returns and looked to avoid losing streaks. Notably, Alba’s last loss came to Ashley Cummins, back in January. Her opponent, Alyse Anderson, entered as the 17th ranked fighter in the Midwest women’s rankings on Tapology. Alba started off as the aggressive one and it looked like there was more power in her hands, but the fight had to be stopped when she was poked in the eye unintentionally.

Approaching the last two minutes of the first round, both fighters swung heavily for each other but Anderson did more to strike with knees in the clinch and was able to force Alba to the ground. The round ended with Anderson looking like the winner, after doing more on the ground and finishing in a position of control. Anderson went back to the ground game in the second round and worked her way to a position where she could attempt a submission. Despite being at a strange angle, Anderson was able to tighten a triangle choke until Alba went out, becoming unresponsive to the referee and impressively ending the fight midway through the second round.

Erin Blanchfield def. Brittney Cloudy via split decision(29-28, 28-29, 29-28): The night started off with two Invicta newcomers, the more notable of which was Eddie Bravo Invitational 12 winner Erin Blanchfield. Neither fighter had much MMA experience coming into the fight, though, as Blanchfield had one win and Cloudy had a 6-2 amateur record with no professional fights. The fight didn’t go to the ground early despite Blanchfield’s jiu-jitsu background, and the first one to look threatening was Cloudy, who got aggressive early on. The late part of round one was spent on the ground, but Cloudy responded with some good strikes from her back despite being taken down.

In the second round, Blanchfield went to the ground immediately but did the most damage while standing up and using her striking game. She tagged Cloudy with multiple punches and would keep her on the back foot for the rest of the round, even after taking the fight back down to the ground. In the third round, Blanchfield stayed with the striking that had led to her dominating the second, advancing frequently and not looking for takedowns throughout the round. The fight ended with Cloudy looking to make something happen with her back, but nothing came of it as she didn’t have enough time left.

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Amateur journalist and hot take artist. University of Life '22.